| Oct 09, 2008

Oct 9/08 - Goodfellow Run: Right on Track

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Feature Article - October 9, 2008 8th Annual Joe Goodfellow Memorial Race...Right on trackBy Julie Druker

Sarah Givens of Elginburg PS, Jessie Heyman of HPS and Nicole Armstrong of LPS all place in the midget girls 2.85 km race at the Joe Goodfellow Memorial Race on Monday in Parham

Joe Goodfellow was an athlete at Hinchinbrooke Public School who helped set up the cross country course there years ago. He passed away at 19 years of age in a car accident and since then the race has been named in his honour.

In 2000, the year of Joe’s death, Dan Kimmerer, who was Joe’s cross country coach at HPS, decided to set up the race at Hinchinbrooke as an invitational race in Joe’s memory. That year over 1000 athletes participated. The next year as many athletes signed up and it was decided in year 3 to make it one of three qualifying races, (the Region 3 Meet) for the Loughborough District School Board. Dan Kimmerer has been the race’s director for a number of years.

On Oct. 6, 12 northern elementary schools of the LDSB set up their camps in the outfield of the ball diamond at the Parham fairgrounds to spend the day racing and cheering on their school mates. Roughly 500 runners competed both as school teams and as individuals to qualify for the Limestone District Elementary Cross Country Championships, which will be held on Oct. 14 at Fort Henry in Kingston.

Races included both male and female events in the atom (grades 3 & 4), bantam (grades 5 & 6) and midget (grades 7 & 8) classes.

The atom course was 1.85 km and the other two classes ran a 2.85 km course.

Every athlete received a ribbon upon completing the race. The top 30 individual runners who placed in their races will proceed to the Fort Henry Championships along with runners from the top three school teams who placed 1st,2nd and 3rd overall.

Individual runners were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals at the finish line by Kathy Goodfellow, Joe Godfellow’s mom.

Eric Vreeken, a teacher and cross country coach at Loughborough Public School, says that, “The purpose of the race is to give kids a chance to have fun, be active and compete in a larger event.”

Runner Jessie Heyman of Harrowsmith Public School, who placed 2nd in the midget girls’ race, commented on the difficulty of the course especially the second hill. “I’m used to running on pretty flat tracks.”

Sarah Givens of Elginburg, who placed 3rd in midget girls, will be going on to Fort Henry for her third year and explains,” It’s so much harder at Fort Henry, because there are so many steep hills.” She plans to keep training every morning except if it’s raining.

Asked what some of the runners think about when they’re running, Tori Neuman from HPS answered, “I’m thinking that it doesn’t matter if I get a place as long as I finish.”

Nicholas Howes of HPS explained, “ I have a 17-year-old brother turning 18 who’s writing letters to me. He’s in boot camp and he gave me a lot of advice. He told me to focus on the people in front of me, one at a time.”

Race Director, Dan Kimmerer addressed all the athletes, staff and family members in attendance once the final race of the day was completed.

He pointed out, “Awesome runners are not just runners that win medals; they can place first or they can place fiftieth. They are the people who train every day and come out and just test themselves. That’s the awesome thing about this meet.”

He took a few minutes and spoke about Joe Goodfellow. “Joe was a student of mine at Hinchinbrooke and it didn’t matter to Joe what place he came in. It mattered to him that he worked hard, and that he did his best and that, especially as a grade 7 and 8 student, he was a role model. You all know Joe Godfellows because there are Joe Goodfellows on all of your teams.”

Before handing out the school team medals, Dan invited all the participants to give themselves a loud round of applause, which they did, and rightly deserved.

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